XPRIZE Reviews | Glassdoor

XPRIZE Reviews

Updated June 24, 2017
50 reviews

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2.5
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XPRIZE CEO Marcus Shingles
Marcus Shingles
4 Ratings

50 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • NOT your conventional office space and culture- which I like (in 7 reviews)

  • Most of the people here are hard working, cool people (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Unfortunately this experience (one that I have not ever experienced at any other job) has been eye opening when it comes to our new CEO (in 5 reviews)

  • They are toxic to the work environment, and should find a more suitable career path for their abilities and attitude (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "The Voices of Some are not the Voices of All"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    No place is perfect, and at the end of the day, you really just need to decide for yourself. The majority of employees are really happy from where I sit. I either have my head in the sand, or the people I interact with on a daily basis are really good actors. On a practical level, the pay is good, generous benefits, and flexible work arrangements. Really nice office space, highly intelligent and interesting co-workers, and an amazing mission.

    If anyone is considering working at XPRIZE, block out the noise, listen, and ask the right questions. Due your due diligence. The truth finds its way.

    Cons

    Our CEO stood up in a meeting last week and reminded us that his door is always open. He's also provided a vehicle for us to give anonymous feedback. And yet the next day somebody saw fit to come to Glassdoor and blast him. These people have plenty of other avenues by which to reach the Chairman's attention or the Board's attention. But sure, let's go on a public forum. I find it highly irresponsible and questionable.

    Our CEO is not perfect, but he's passionate. I love his ideas and how he's disrupted XPRIZE. People were unhappy before he came, and clearly they still are. Hopefully their voices are balanced out with those who actually don't have any issues; those who are excited to show up every day and work, join a competition, or in general, just get involved.

    Advice to Management

    Management consists of others besides a CEO, so this advice is to all of you: Work it out. Most of you are not inspiring anyone right now.

    While our CEO made some good points last week and admitted some shortcomings and course corrections, there is room for others to do the same.


  2. Helpful (13)

    "I will not be silent so that you can be comfortable..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    The people here are a good group of people and the associations mission is commendable.

    Cons

    A recent post stated that it was "irresponsible" and "questionable" of those who come on here to post their grievances in such a public forum yet ironically they themselves felt the need to post here to make THEIR point heard. let's take a moment and let that settle in....I suppose they feel it is inspiring to lead by way of "do as I say and not as I do" and we wonder why there is a problem internally.

    Additionally those who claim the majority of employees are currently happy from where they sit, well i would say to you... maybe you need to turn your chair away from the wall and then you might see what is really going on.

    It's as simple as this.
    Our CEO doesn't foster a collaborative, honest work environment. He doesn't lead the organization from a position of selflessness.

    Look I realize the company needs to counter the negative with positive, HR is very versed in how to do that (or they should be). the issue is maybe spend less time "balancing" the negative on this platform and address the real issues internally so the staff doesn't feel like we have to "voice our issues" on this alternative platform... Don't give us lip service, we know when we are being "spun".
    try to foster positive communication internally without fear of being placed on the "bad employee list" because i'm sorry to say it but THAT is exactly what happens when someone tries to address issues with the CEO. And yes we would hope that leadership includes more than the CEO but currently the CEO doesn't empower his own leadership team. It's called a "silo" which is a horrible way to lead.

    There are severe issues here with leadership and it starts from the top. A CEO who "says" his door is always open but then doesn't actually listen to those who step inside, doesn't make him inspiring by default. So thank you but yes many have attempted "other avenues" to effect positive change.

    The CEO may be "passionate" but his passion is misplaced so it holds no value to the organization or its employees.

    Advice to Management

    You are clearly reading the grievances on this website. So we challenge you to make a positive change. The first step to change is acceptance... The change readjust your sails and start to motivate, Inspire, cultivate collaboration, be selfless and be honest.

    And to the "voices of some" don't be hypocritical and condemn people for doing exactly what you have just done by coming to this platform to voice frustrations. That's what this platform is intended to do, allow people the freedom to voice an honest opinion with out risk of ramification. You are correct nothing or no-one is perfect, we're not asking for perfection, we're asking for respect and the ability to take pride in working for a company that cares for its employees. Simple as that, i personally don't think that's a lot to ask for.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "NO HR department"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    One of the good existing perks in my opinion is working from home policy. Again the HR is proposing to slash it all together. It seems to them office is empty and there is no feel and look that people are working. Back to 1980 we go!

    Cons

    The sad thing is that there is no HR department!

    HR is heavily biased ,They have formed stereotypes about certain people and started secretly undermining them. They mark very people they cannot work with. People who come trusting HR, only to find later that HR informed the harassing supervisor betraying trust of employee. there is absolutely no trust in HR and nothing is being done to restore it.

    Overall members of HR department are not approachable and even antisocial.

    Advice to Management

    When hiring head of HR, PLEASE don't use existing biased HR staff. Independent consultant hired by Board can bring the person of good morals and great vision for employee well being. Solving the issues by recommending another round of firings is not a solution!!!


  4. Helpful (16)

    "When bad leadership happens to good companies..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    The mission of this organization is honorable. I suspect at one point in time the leaders who founded XPrize truly believed in being the "catalyst for the benefit of humanity" while creating a culture of people who selflessly work toward missions beyond themselves. Most of the people here are hard working, cool people.

    Cons

    Present day...
    I have to preface this review by saying I went into the change in leadership with a very open mind, the change within the organization didn’t worry me, I was actually looking forward to some revitalization. Unfortunately this experience (one that I have not ever experienced at any other job) has been eye opening when it comes to our new CEO. I’m going to be blunt because there is really no other way around it. Our new CEO Marcus Shingles doesn’t have the slightest clue how to inspire or empower the people around him let alone lead a non-profit organization successfully.

    With our highly respected EX CEO off focusing on very high level objectives (as he should be) and no longer leading the day to day, which includes our vital programs, we now find ourselves with a severely under qualified CEO who has proven time and time again to be clueless, close-minded, uninspiring all the while exuding narcissistic tendencies. Which not only is painfully obvious to those of us internally but also has been noticed and commented on by outside stakeholders as well.

    His obvious lack of experience and self-confidence reflects upon every decision he has made since filling the CEO role. Rather than leading and leveraging the full time, experienced team that is already in place, he squanders the organizations finances by hiring personal "consultants/friends" at ridiculous salaries (in the 6 figures range). Let me take a moment to support my claim, a specific example would be a current “consultant” that he brought in, and yes I put consultant in “quotes” because she is definitely not an experienced consultant but more of a friend of his who is benefiting from the friendship by sitting on a cushy salary while barking orders and demands from over 300 miles away. Maybe it wouldn’t be an issue if she was AMAZING at what she does but she clearly lacks the experience to effectively produce and execute a successful program. She shows a blatant disregard for the integrity of the brand and regardless of consistent issues and negative feedback from many people on the team, Marcus still allows her to squander more of the organizations finances by hiring a team of outside "consultants" to plan and execute an event that she is being hired to manage, essentially to do her job. Let me add that this team of “consultants” come in and bulldoze over good people, bypassing the full time staff that has the experience to run these events from A-Z all while being rude, demanding and disrespectful. The topper being that they actually lack the ability to execute a high level event with with ease and class.

    I mean honestly who is holding these people accountable? I wonder if the Treasurer on the Board is privy to how Marcus spends the org’s money. Does the Board even care enough to question the philosophy of our CEO? Maybe the Board should take a deep dive into his way of managing the finances before we find ourselves in an “unexpected” financial crisis.

    I know that many have attempted to talk to Marcus with the hope that he will recognize the issues and make positive changes, however he nods in agreement and acknowledges that he understands and then blatantly goes behind your back to do the complete opposite of what he has promised. He is a manipulator, going as far as lying about the results of an anonymous staff survey about the CEO that is meant to improve operations and culture.

    I agree 100% with a recent review that exposes Marcus as an ego driven micro-manager. Marcus has done nothing but mislead with false promises, he power trips as opposed to empowering, he disregards valuable information/insight and maintains “tunnel vision” when making vital decisions. He is a poor judge of character (clearly based on some of his recent recruits and hires). He uses the organization as a cover to push his own agenda. He purposely alienates people hoping that he can push them out, which is completely ridiculous to think that good people are leaving the company while his incompetence is allowed to stay.

    ATTENTION POTENTIAL APPLICANTS: If you are reading this and considering working for this company I would highly suggest you put a pause on that until the leadership issues get resolved. Don't think because you come in during his tenure that it gives you an advantage, I've witnessed him alienating people who he has hired himself as part of his power trip. Beware!

    Advice to Management

    Marcus, you might have had a shot at being a decent CEO if you would have just put your ego aside and listened to the very smart people around you including your own leadership staff! Stop being a dictator and absorb the constructive feedback rather than sweeping it under the rug because you feel it doesn’t suit your agenda. This organization isn’t about YOU or me or the next person; it’s about supporting great change for the better of humanity. Get on board with that or move on please!
    To the past CEO we realize that Marcus has your ear and probably attempts to justify the negative feedback as "people opposed to change" or some ridiculous cop out like that but PLEASE make an attempt to get both sides of the story, I bet you will be surprised at what you hear (or maybe not) and you may find that friends don't always make the best successors.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "CEO Approval?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    The rest of the people that work at XP.

    Cons

    "New" CEO, very very sad.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to the Board, get it right.


  6. Helpful (15)

    "Energy has been lost..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    Employees/Staff are great colleagues, fun to work with and intelligent

    Cons

    CEO has been the following: narcissist, oblivious, incompetent, unwilling to listen and takes the action of "his way is the only right way". Does not listen to any recommendations of the staff or even his leadership team. He thinks his way is the only way to do something and does not listen to anyone...so many people in tis company are smart and have the institutional knowledge of what should be done but he is so ego driven that he does not want to listen. If you consistently stand against his thinking or ideas you are then ignored and out of that inner circle. He claims he has an open door policy...true to some extent. He will sell you on what you want to hear at that given moment and in the end do either the exact opposite or do what he said he would not do. Has has lost so much respect from the staff and is not looked upon as a leader.

    Has so many back door deals that seam really suspect and the staff all knows the truth is not being told or given. Everyone at some point has spoken up against something he is doing and every time it is shot down and ignored. At this point all staff and leadership just say "ok" to everything he says because it is pointless saying anything. So much money is being wasted and not being used wisely especially since we are a non profit company. He likes to pay his consultants an extremely high amount of money and does not hold them accountable even when issues have been constantly raised.

    His leadership team is not allowed to lead as he needs to micromanage everyone and therefore if you are hired in a leadership role it seems you are already set up to fail. He is gullible as he only listens to two people that seem to either tell him what he wants to hear or make false accusations against departments and people and he eats it all up. He is making a mockery of what a CEO should be and how they act. It is a shame how XPRIZE has turned into and how people feel...he has deflated and sucked out the energy of the company. He will take the biggest checks from any company regardless of where they stand - as that is all he sees. A CEO should care of his employees, take there recommendations, listen to them...every meeting, every conference, award show, summit turns into the "Marcus Show" where again and again it turns into himself, how great he is and what he is doing for the company...it turns into a sales pitch.

    Advice to Management

    It would be great for the board to look into what is happening with the company, talk to staff, listen to staff because there has been a high turn over solely because of Marcus and more will continue and it is a shame if we continue to lose staff over one CEO that is turning the company in a negative brand. The board should look into the finances and see how he is spending the money .

    NOTE: Peter Diamandis is not the CEO...it is Marcus. Peter is actually high respected and looked upon for leadership...wish he would intervene more.


  7. Helpful (13)

    "Things don't change here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at XPRIZE full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    None. Horrible management. Egos thwart any progress. Management has always been way below par and I don't understand why people invest in or support this company. It amazes me that this company is still in business.

    Cons

    Have you seen the employee turnover? This is not a company you want to invest in. Stupid people invest in this company.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to management...are you kidding me. Management is pathetic.

  8. Helpful (14)

    "Toxic, abusive work environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    XPrize boasts a good many talented, and passionate people who deeply care about improving the lives of diverse populations through their work.

    Cons

    The culture of this organization is one of blame and distrust. People openly gossip about other employees in ways that are completely unprofessional, and even downright cruel. People often throw each other under the bus to avoid accountability, and I witnessed many senior level leaders approach issues with their teams in abusive, blame shifting ways. This completely undermines any sense of teamwork they might otherwise establish. While many claim to care about social equality and issues around race and gender, they at the same time approach conversations with others in aggressive, condescending ways that are at times outright abusive. Management have huge egos, and give unclear, sometimes contradictory directions for projects. This company also lacks clear processes for accomplishing any goal they might lay out. At the end of the day, dedicated work is not appreciated, you're expected to tow the line in the face of abusive management, and the environment does not match the mission of the organization by a long shot.

    Advice to Management

    You need to treat every single person you work with better. It doesn't matter what your communication style is. Some basic decency when interacting with another human being should be a baseline for a company who claims to care about social good. Walk the walk.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Speak for yourself and not the rest of us (please)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not sure where the negative feedback is coming from? because from my own personal experience, as well as hearing from all of my fellow team members, we are very pleased and excited with the CEO and the new structure and direction. clearly someone is scorned here potentially, because the comments don't really add up. The CEO has an open door policy and i've used it and it exceeded my expectations. the energy is positive. the work is rewarding. and it feels like we are being led with integrity, fairness, and toward our mission. We are coming off an amazing 7 months since the CEO started and many of us who have been with the foundation for a while feel that the last 6 months were actually the most invigorating and positive.

    Cons

    it is a lot of change at once. we needed it. the new CEO with other key leads are driving us into the right and needed direction. for scale of impact. with strategy and more discipline. change is hard as it is more than we have ever changed before. this includes a significant restructuring that creates anxiety. ive felt it as well. but its very transparent. but some people can handle change more than others so its clear that it can take a toll. not for everyone if you are risk adverse and prefer static environments.

    Advice to Management

    keep your chin up. you are a strong leader and we do see that in you. we are not naive to the challenge of coming into a new culture and driving change so quickly. we need it if we are to make our impact and "grow up". your efforts are appreciated. your style if fair but firm and although people tend to post more negative vs. positive, just know that the overall feeling around the foundation is exactly what you are hearing and seeing day to day - good positive momentum and attitudes. Not just for you the CEO's efforts, but really seeing this across the mgmt team and throughout.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "A Meaningful Career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Working in an environment of passionate individuals who want to make a positive impact on the world.

    -Spending time in a workplace that wants to solve grand challenges and see IMPACT which gives a sense of purpose and fulfillment to my career and daily work life.

    -I'm fairly early in my career, however I would say the workplace is extremely innovative and open. NOT your conventional office space and culture- which I like! It feels very exciting on a daily basis.

    -My personal experiences with colleagues and the culture of XPRIZE is passionate, friendly, and hardworking individuals. Anyone that is a part of the XPRIZE ecosystem is naturally passionate about something they want to see improved in the world, which is uplifting!

    -XPRIZE has been transitioning with it's new leadership/CEO, the changes being made are a necessity and crucial to the desired scale and impact we want to see as an organization... certainly we are taking steps in the right direction!

    -As we start to scale, we see new and fresh talent! It's nice to get new ideas and talent coming in and people that are passionate about what we do.

    -Having access and opportunities to learn of new cutting edge technologies and how they can benefit the world as well as engage with individuals in innovative ecosystems. This is such a useful and interesting learning experience that just becomes a part of your job.

    -I personally have really enjoyed the people and experience since I've came on board with XPRIZE.

    Cons

    -Since we are scaling, the workload is currently on overload as we hire for new talent. (Everything we are doing is amazing! Which is why although a heavy workload can be stressful, people's hearts are in the work they are doing)

    -There is a lot of change as we particularly want to focus on the Impact we can have on the world. This is a good thing in my opinion, however, some people are not used to change. Anyone that has been with XPRIZE for many years may not be adapting to so many moving parts and an exponentially changing organization. Again, personally, I thrive in this environment and enjoy seeing us strive to make a difference in the world (not to sound hokey, but I do!).

    Advice to Management

    -I'd like to explain my ratings! Everything is exceptional, for work life balance, I rated 4 stars as with recent developments within XPRIZE we need new people on board! This is something that I know we are working on.

    -More importantly, for culture and values, I rated a 4 as well. This is for a number of reasons. As mentioned, everyone I've had the pleasure of working with at XPRIZE has been exceptionally positive and seems happy in their work and personal life. However, I think some people who may not be as content with their work and personal life are not adapting well to a changing organization. Now that we are held accountable and to a high standard (as we should be!) by our new leadership, some people may be put off by accountability and/or change. My advice to XPRIZE is this... the people of the organization that don't have the same values that XPRIZE stands for will eventually weed themselves out. Keep doing what you are doing!!! We want our staff to be comprised of individuals with the upmost integrity, work ethic, and drive to make a difference in the world. Keep moving forward and striving towards impact!


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